Hello and Happy New Year!
I'm sorry for the lack of race day updates as I had promised but in a last minute decision our team trials were moved from Lake Placid to Maine, where I did not have good email access. A few days before the start of our trials races, Lake Placid received a full day of rain and 50 degree weather that forced the organizers to change the venue to Maine. So after celebrating Christmas with my family I packed up my car once again and took off for Fort Kent, Maine.
The conditions in Maine were ideal and they made for a fun and exciting race series. I was there along with 35 other athletes trying out for one of two spots remaining on the World Cup/World Championship Team. I knew if things went well I had a good chance of taking one of the spots but also that their were many other guys right on my heels.
The week prior to the races I was still not feeling 100% healthy and I was forced to really cut back on my training hours. I thought that I was still recovering from my long trip to Norway but something just didn't quite feel right. I ended up seeing my doctor at home and having a bunch of tests run just to be careful and it turned out that I had been suffering from a viral infection. This was definitely not the news that I was looking for with less than five days until my first race. I kept the news completely to myself, not wanting anyone whom I was competing against to feel that I was vulnerable.
After taking a lot of time trying to recover I was starting to feel a bit better the day before the first race. For the start of the first race I was quite nervous, not knowing how my body would react when I really started to race. I was pleasantly surprised during the first race and was really able to push myself, I ended up in second place well ahead of third.
What made me most nervous about the races was that we had three races in three days. Normally I would like this format but I was not sure if I would be able to completely recover in-between races still being a little sick. My fear of this format was well warranted when I woke up the day of the second race not feeling very well. I started the race and could tell that I just did not quite have the same spark as the day before and I ended up in third place, 30 seconds behind first but just 7 seconds behind second.
Going into the third and final race I was virtually tied with a few other athletes for a spot on the team and I knew everything would depend on this race. Waking up the morning of the third race I was really scared because I could tell that the previous two races had brought my sickness right back. Under any other circumstances I would not have raced but being that these were trials I had no choice. This race was one of the biggest battles I have ever had with myself; my body wanted nothing more than to stay in bed but my mind knew I had to race. The race started and I was not feeling great but I pushed myself more than I ever have before and finished in second, only 2.4 seconds from the win. I was disappointed that I got beat by such a small margin but was thrilled because I knew this race assured me a spot on the team!
I just returned home today and have decided to delay my trip to Europe by a few weeks. These last three races have taken a lot out of me and I need time to get 100% healthy again before returning to the World Cup. Its frustrating having to miss out on a few races now but I know that I need time to recuperate and that this will be the best decision in the long run. I will join the team in Torino, Italy, the sight of next years Olympics. I am really looking forward to racing there and getting a chance to familiarize myself with the Olympic course that I hope to be racing on again.
I hope all is well and that you all had a great Holiday Season. Thanks for all of the support.